11. Serving Requires Faith

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Matthew 19:26

Serving others by using our unique gifts can be of great benefit to both those we serve and ourselves. Before we get to identifying your gift as a powerful way to serve, we need to establish some rules.

The rules are important because your mind will in all likelihood immediately jump to conclusions too early and discourage the pursuit and development of your gift.

Those who study how we humans make decisions refer to “limiting beliefs,” which prevent us from even trying to enact changes, even if they would be of great value to our lives.

A few examples of limiting beliefs include:

  • I don’t think I’m good enough.
  • I could never figure out how to do that.
  • What if I fail?

These limiting beliefs come from a variety of different sources. It may have been from advice of an authority figure in your life. Perhaps it is conventional wisdom, that suggests that there is a right and wrong way to do things. Or maybe you attempted something new in your life that did not turn out as you planned.

The idea of trying anything new causes most of us to think about what could go wrong. We do that to identify potential threats and problems that we might encounter.

If we believe in these limiting beliefs, we may quickly abandon the effort,
considering it to be too risky or not worth the effort.

Have faith in your ultimate success.

People of faith believe in what they do not see. They believe that their efforts to serve the needs of others WILL be successful, even if the service they end up rendering turns out to be different from what they originally expected.

So they try. They ignore the nay-sayers, conventional wisdom, and threat-mongers and forge ahead.

As a basketball player growing up, I had a poster on my wall that read,

You miss 100% of the shots that you don’t take.

If you don’t try, you can’t score.

I love the idea of serendipity, which is the discovery by chance or accident of something that turns out to be very valuable. Trying on that old jacket and discovering a $20 bill in the pocket is serendipity.

You won’t encounter serendipity unless you try. You won’t overcome obstacles unless you try. You won’t find a way to use your gift unless you try.

Sitting on the sidelines and thinking or planning what you might do will not help. We just need to enter the arena and learn as we go.

You will not be alone on this service journey of faith. Jesus told his disciples, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”

As you read the following posts about identifying and utilizing your gifts, please keep an open mind. Do not evaluate and pre-judge ideas before you try. Know that with God, all things are possible.

Doug Bate
Service Central